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Featured: Congressman Rubén Hinojosa, D-Mercedes, in a Wednesday, March 27, 2013 portrait at the Edinburg Conference Center at Renaissance. Hinojosa, who retires after 20 years at the end of December 2016, continues to produce for Edinburg, including with a recent $1.2 million federal grant to help prevent flooding in a northern part of the community.

Photograph By ISMAEL GARCÍA

Edinburg and Hidalgo County leaders are scheduled to meet at noon on Tuesday, December 6, 2016 in the county’s Administration Building for discussion and possible action regarding plans to build a new county courthouse in the city’s downtown region, the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation has announced. The joint session of the Edinburg City Council and the Hidalgo County Commissioners Court will be held in the Hidalgo County Commissioners Courtroom, located on the first floor of the county Administration Building, 100 East Cano. The meeting is open to the public. The purpose of the meeting is to consider a possible Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), which would memorialize the commitments made by the County of Hidalgo and the City of Edinburg for the construction of a new Hidalgo County Courthouse to be located in Edinburg, which is the county seat, according to Sonia Marroquín, Assistant City Manager for the City of Edinburg. The deliberations also will include what roles might be played by the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation, which is the jobs-creation arm of the Edinburg Mayor and Edinburg City Council, in the development and funding for the planned county courthouse. The Edinburg EDC Board of Directors is comprised of Mayor Richard García as President, Harvey Rodríguez, Jr. as Vice President, and Elías Longoria, Jr. Richard Rupert, and Dr. Peter Dabrowski as Members. Agustín García, Jr. is Executive Director for the Edinburg EDC.

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Edinburg City Council and Hidalgo County Commissioners Court to meet Tuesday, December 6, 2016 at noon to discuss new Hidalgo County Courthouse, announces Edinburg Economic Development Corporation

By DAVID A. DÍAZ
Legislativemedia@aol.com

Edinburg and Hidalgo County leaders are scheduled to meet at noon on Tuesday, December 6, 2016 in the county’s Administration Building for discussion and possible action regarding plans to build a new county courthouse in the city’s downtown region, the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation has announced.

The joint session of the Edinburg City Council and the Hidalgo County Commissioners Court will be held in the Hidalgo County Commissioners Courtroom, located on the first floor of the county Administration Building, 100 East Cano.

The meeting is open to the public.

The purpose of the meeting is to consider a possible Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), which would memorialize the commitments made by the County of Hidalgo and the City of Edinburg for the construction of a new Hidalgo County Courthouse to be located in Edinburg, which is the county seat,
according to Sonia Marroquin, Assistant City Manager for the City of Edinburg.

According to U.S. legal.com, A memorandum of understanding (MOU) may be used as a confirmation of agreed upon terms when an oral agreement has not been reduced to a formal contract. It may also be a contract used to set forth the basic principles and guidelines under which the parties will work together to accomplish their goals.

The deliberations also will include what roles might be played by the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation, which is the jobs-creation arm of the Edinburg Mayor and Edinburg City Council, in the development and funding for the planned county courthouse.

The Edinburg EDC Board of Directors is comprised of Mayor Richard García as President, Harvey Rodríguez, Jr. as Vice President, and Elías Longoria, Jr. Richard Rupert, and Dr. Peter Dabrowski as Members.

Agustín García, Jr. is Executive Director for the Edinburg EDC.

The key provision of Edinburg’s involvement in helping finance the project states that the new courthouse would be built on the existing courthouse square in downtown Edinburg, next to the existing Hidalgo County Courthouse.

The financial strategies by the city and county have yet to be finalized, and the construction of the courthouse still must face future actions by the Hidalgo County Commissioners Court.

In her executive summary of the other key positions of the city in any agreement with the county, Marroquin outlined several of the priorities sought by Edinburg:

The new courthouse would serve the existing courts in Hidalgo County, and allow for consideration for future courts;

The new courthouse would serve the County Clerk & District Clerk and other offices to support court operations;

The new courthouse would improve safety and health conditions for all visitors, employees, and those who conduct business at the Courthouse;

The new courthouse accommodate parking for employees and others with business at the Courthouse;

The new courthouse would increase opportunities for economic development; and

The new courthouse would benefit the citizens of Edinburg and Hidalgo County.

On Friday, October 21, 2016, a week after hearing from five companies vying for the project management contract, the Hidalgo County Commissioners Court, meeting in a special session, presented their scoring sheets to the Purchasing Department to select for negotiations a firm for the design and construction of the new Hidalgo County Courthouse.

After the tally, Dannenbaum Engineering Corporation was ranked highest among the firms and the county commissioners court voted to commence negotiations to finalize a professional service agreement.

Below is the ranking and average score for the five firms:

1. Dannebaum, 95.4
2. Jacobs Project Management Co., 92.8
3. Broaddus & Project Control,92.4
4.Hill International, 92.0
5. JLL 86.8

Hidalgo County Purchasing Agent Martha Salazar pointed out that if the negotiations fail with Dannebaum, the county will proceed to negotiate with the second-ranked firm, Jacobs Project Management Co.

During the presentation of qualifications at the Thursday, October 13, 2o16 county commissioners court, Louis Jones, who serves as Principal/Director, South Texas Region, for Dannenbaum, said his firm will partner with B2Z Engineering of Mission, Moca of San Antonio, Farmsworth Group, of San Antonio, and Naylor Wentworth Lund Architects, of Salt Lake City, Utah.

“The Hidalgo County Courthouse Team is a uniquely qualified group of design, program and construction management and inspection professionals with the necessary expertise required for this pursuit,” Jones said during the presentation.

CONGRESSMAN HINOJOSA SECURES $1.2 MILLION FEMA GRANT FOR EDINBURG

The City of Edinburg on Friday, November 18, 2016 was awarded a $1.2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency. The money will be used by the city to address drainage issues on the north side of town.

The project includes the installation of a 60-inch line along West Rogers Road and along the east property line of Edinburg North High School. This line will help with the drainage of the Glasscock and Stonecrest Subdivisions, which flooded during a June 19, 2015, rain storm.

Additionally, the project includes an extension of the Lull Drain and a culver crossing at Brenda Street as well as the addition of inlets along West Rogers Road and on the west side of Edinburg North to help with an existing flooding problem at the school.

Mayor García welcomed the news of the award and thanked Congressman Rubén Hinojosa, D-Mercedes, who worked diligently to ensure Edinburg received the federal funds.

“What this means is that we will immediately be able to improve the drainage issues we know we have on the north side of the city. While the entire area is part of our Master Drainage Plan, we no longer have to wait until city dollars are available,” the mayor said. “This money will speed up the process. I think the people in these neighborhoods will be extremely happy.”

Meantime, Hinojosa said, “I have been proud to consistently support appropriations for FEMA disaster assistance in Congress, without which this grant would not be possible. These storm water management projects will help protect Edinburg North High School and surrounding homes from severe damages of destructive flooding in our region.”

The grant does require a city match of $402,000 which the City has allocated in the 2016-2017 Fiscal Year Budget.

The federal funds for this project are authorized under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act.

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Julie Benítez Sulivan and Irma Garza contributed to this article. For more information on the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation and the City of Edinburg, please log on to http://edinburgedc.com or to http://www.facebook.com/edinburgedc

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